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The Passing Scene

Happy holiday

Next week, Muslims all over the world, celebrate one of their major annual festivals, the Eid-el-Kabir which commemorates the great faith of Ibrahim who willingly submitted himself to the commandment of God to offer his son as a sacrifice to God. Christians also subscribe to this account of the great faith of Ibrahim, who is Abraham to them. It is one of several points of convergence between Christianity and Islam, the two main religions in our country.

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Unconstitutional appointments

The inclusion of a provision in the Nigerian Constitution with regard to a fair and even distribution of senior official positions all over the Federal Republic was, without a doubt, intended to be taken seriously. Although it does not appear to have been made justifiable, a commission was actually established to pursue that purpose. The intention was to hold in check by legal means, if necessary, any tendency on the part of any one, or group of persons in power, to influence or effect the appointment of a host of people from any particular area—usually theirs—to strategic or important positions in the country.

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An obvious misfit

The traditional visit to Aso Rock had not yet been made before this was written. We hope it would include all the journalists who fed us with those juicy news items from Rio 2016. In actual fact, there was not so much juice in what could be sent home about Nigeria, though we heard about the twenty-something medals of Phelps and the “triple-triple” of Bolt. We did not prepare for the performances that produce such results, and we all know that. There had been other times when good fortune gave us what we did not really deserve, but this was not one of them.

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The fool in his heart

The fool has said in his heart that there is no God. He has therefore no basis to believe that God would be speaking to anyone. By the same token, anyone who says God speaks to him is a liar and there is no truth in him. To aver that the belief in the Deity is an inheritance of falsehood, and trickery even, has been a mark of knowledge, though not discernment, that men of letters have always ascribed to themselves, and the astuteness of their intellect, down the ages.

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Nothing will happen

The man called Dino Melaye may never grow up. Whatever might have been the seamy nature of his upbringing, good fortune placed him in circumstances that would have afforded him a re-birth. He became, first, a member of the House of Representatives, and then a member of the Senate, the highest legislative assembly of the land.

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Negotiation, a must

Playing host to a group of officials, mostly of Northern extraction recently, to mark the end of the Month of Ramadan and to celebrate the Eid el Fitr festival, President Muhammadu Buhari grew ebullient in the spirit of the occasion. He declared that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable. The remark has given rise to reactions over a wide spectrum of judgment. Opinions are of course divided into two main camps—those who agree, and those who do not. Swinging around the fence are also those who leave you unclear of whether their yea be yea, and their nay be nay.

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They shall not cling together…”

You know the story. The account is rendered in the Holy Bible of how Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (605-562) had a dream, the details of which he could not readily recall. He was troubled. So he called for all his wise men and sorcerers and magicians, Chaldeans all who were reputed to tell the meanings of dreams, to give him the interpretation of the dream. It would have been a fairly routine matter, but for one snag: the king could not remember the dream. All the same, he demanded the meaning of, it to the consternation of his “technocrats” of the esoteric.

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On the verge of disappearance

This country is going through a lot of stress at the moment. The proliferation of militant groups into which the tide of brigands has been flowing is gradually becoming a fixed feature on the terrain of our lives. It has removed a lot from our individual safety as well as the general security of many communities all over the country. When the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta erupted a few years back, it seemed to have a steady vision —the empowerment of the people of that area. It also had a cause. The grievance was, and is still, perceptible: the source of the nation’s wealth had nothing to show for the exploitation of the resources which left the people impoverished, while citizens of other regions benefited from the wealth thus produced. The insistence of the people thus negatively affected was left unaddressed chiefly because those in power were in the majority, and were also from the profitably affected areas. It took the episodes of Ken Saro-Wiwa and Adaka Boro to direct the sufferings and resentments of the people towards a violent resolution.

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Witch-hunting

One of the first statements made by Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, as he sat before the Code of Conduct Tribunal a few months back, was that he would not have been in the dock if he had not been the Senate President. He wanted the point to be very clear, though unnecessarily. The truth is actually that he would not have been there but for the way in which he became the Senate President, not just for being the Senate President… .

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